Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Another Fox headline achievement

You hate to have a front-runner for Clueless Hed of the Year before noon on the literal first day of the year, but ... step forward, Fox News!

In its own little way, the hed starts to make sense, if you're low enough on the Fox food chain to draw the shift that has you writing headlines at 7 a.m.  on New Year's Day. You're at the No. 4 story* on the homepage, and you can almost hear the anchor's "more like" voice: "YO-semmity? More like GRO-semmity!" I mean, how are you supposed to know that people might read ""Gross-Semite" as "Gross Semite"?

Despite Fox's penchant for Soros-based fearmongering and other antisemitic conspiracy theories, this is probably not evidence of Czarist infiltration of the Fair 'n' Balanced ranks. It is, though, a reminder that headline puns are the bonbons of Satan, and it's never too early in the year for a favored precept of hed writing: If it's the first thing that comes to mind, lie down and wait for a second thing to come to mind.

* Fox byline, though apparently based largely on a Dec. 29 Los Angeles Times piece and a Dec. 31 report by the AP. NPR had a similar story Dec. 28. Original reporting is not a strong suit at Fox.

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